Dr. Oz Grilled By Senator Over “Miracle” Weight-Loss Claims

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_MG_
_MG_ Posts: 453 Member
Dr. Oz had some fun in front of a Senate Committee. Here's a cut/paste of the article, link at the end:

Since he started appearing on pal Oprah Winfrey’s show a decade ago, and especially since he launched his own inexplicably popular daytime talk show in 2009, Dr. Mehmet Oz has had a history of being a bit overly enthusiastic about some of the alternative and nontraditional treatments he’s highlighted, resulting in countless scammers cashing in on the questionable weight-loss treatments he’s described as “miracles,” like the green coffee extract that is the subject of an ongoing federal action. This morning, Dr. Oz is appearing before a Senate subcommittee and admitting that his “cheerleading” for products that he admits are just “crutches” has caused trouble for himself and for the Federal Trade Commission.

Missouri Senator Clair McCaskill, Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, went straight for Dr. Oz’s jugular in her opening remarks on this morning’s hearing about the false and deceptive advertising of weight-loss products.

“When you feature a product on your show, it creates what has become known as ‘Oz Effect,’ dramatically boosting sales and driving scam artists to pop up overnight using false and deceptive ads to sell questionable products,” the Senator explained. “I’m concerned that you are melding medical advice, news and entertainment in a way that harms consumers.”

In his prepared opening comments, Dr. Oz says that even though he never mentions specific products or tells his millions of viewers what to buy, unscrupulous scammers use his words and likeness to peddle their often questionable products.

“It’s a problem I have spent immeasurable time, effort, resources and money to combat,” said the doctor. “I’m chagrined to say the problem has only increased exponentially… I am forced to depend my reputation every single day.”

Dr. Oz openly admitted that the weight-loss treatments he mentions on the show are frequently “crutches… You won’t get there without diet and exercise,” and that while he believes in the research he’s done, the research done on these treatments would probably not pass FDA muster.

“If the only message I gave was to eat less and move more — which is the most important thing people need to do — we wouldn’t be very effectively tackling this complex challenge because viewers know these tips and they still struggle,” said the doctor. “So we search for tools and crutches; short-term supports so that people can jumpstart their programs.”

Sen. McCaskill quoted three statements that the great and doctorful Oz had made about different weight-loss treatments on his show:

•(On green coffee extract) — “You may think magic is make-believe, but this little bean has scientists saying they found the magic weight-loss for every body type.”

•(On raspberry ketone) — “I’ve got the number one miracle in a bottle to burn your fat” (raspberry ketone)

•(On garcinia cambogia) — “It may be the simple solution you’ve been looking for to bust your body fat for good.”

“I don’t get why you say this stuff, because you know it’s not true,” said McCaskill. “So why, when you have this amazing megaphone, and this amazing ability to communicate, why would you cheapen your show by saying things like that?”

Oz took great issue with the Senator’s assertion that he doesn’t believe in the treatments he endorses.

“I don’t think this ought to be a referendum on the use of alternative medical therapies,” said the doctor. “I’ve been criticized for having people coming on my show to talk about the power of prayer. As a practitioner, I can’t prove that prayer helps people survive an illness.”

Countered McCaskill, “It’s hard to buy prayer… prayer’s free.”

“I do personally believe in the items that I talk about on the show,” responded Dr. Oz, who acknowledged that statements he’s made in the past have encouraged scam artists and others looking to make a quick buck on people looking for an easy way to lose weight.

“I do think I’ve made it more difficult for the FTC,” he continued. “In the intent to engage viewers, I use flowery language. I used language that was very passionate that ended up being not very helpful but incendiary and it provided fodder for unscrupulous advertisers.”

The doctor says his show has curbed the use of such language in recent years. He also says there are products that he believes in but that he’s yet to discuss on the show, “because I know what will happen.”

But the Senator wasn’t going to let him off the hook.

“The scientific community is almost monolithic against you in terms of the efficacy of the three products that you called miracles,” she told the doctor. “And when you call a product a miracle and it’s something that you can buy and it’s something that gives people false hope, I just don’t understand why you need to go there.”

McCaskill pointed to the FTC’s “Gut Check” list of seven warning signs that a weight-loss product is likely going to only make your wallet lighter.

She urged Dr. Oz to, instead of dumping half-researched “miracles” on viewers looking for quick answers, he instead educate his audience about the items on that list — “that there isn’t magic in a bottle, that there isn’t a magic pill, that there isn’t some kind of magic root or acai berry or raspberry ketone that is going to all of a sudden make it not matter that you’re not moving an eating a lot of sugar and carbohydrates.”

In response, the doctor said he tells his audience that information all the time.

“Then why would you say that something is a miracle in a bottle?” asked the Senator.

“My job, I feel, on the show is to be a cheerleader for the audience and when they don’t think they have hope, when they don’t think they can make it happen, I wanna look — and I do look — everywhere… for any evidence that might be supportive to them,” explained Oz, who believes that products like green coffee extract jumpstart someone’s weight loss program and “gives you the confidence to keep going, and then you start to follow the things that we talk about every single day — including those seven items [on the FTC Gut Check list].”

Throughout his testimony, Dr. Oz repeatedly reminded the subcommittee that he has to do constant damage reputation — along with taking legal action against some scammers — because of the people who abuse his enthusiastic statements for their own ends. However, the Senator was not exactly moved to tears.

“I know you feel that you’re a victim, but sometimes conduct invites being a victim,” concluded McCaskill. “I think that if you would be more careful, maybe you wouldn’t be victimized quite as frequently.”

Full article here:

http://consumerist.com/2014/06/17/dr-oz-grilled-by-senator-over-miracle-weight-loss-claims/
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Replies

  • SingRunTing
    SingRunTing Posts: 2,604 Member
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    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSR__xvSPoy0aLKIj3FF9TFc4jT7DggiDY6JIeQ4R1_pK5qBI_BWQ
  • Will_Thrust_For_Candy
    Will_Thrust_For_Candy Posts: 6,109 Member
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    He really is such a joke. I'm glad that someone has finally, publicly, put him to task. Now hopefully this will get spread around Facebook, MFP, and other fitness sites so that his fraud gets further exposure.
  • neandermagnon
    neandermagnon Posts: 7,436 Member
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    I'm really glad he's being held accountable for what he says on that show :drinker:

    also I searched for and found the "gut check list" and I'm reading the article about it.... that's the kind of thing that needs to be posted on here in response to posts by users who have been taken in by various scams/fads.
  • I_Will_End_You
    I_Will_End_You Posts: 4,397 Member
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    I was just coming to post this article! Glad they're on his *kitten* about it, it's a start.
  • ihad
    ihad Posts: 7,463 Member
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    Chickens, your roost is waiting.
  • twinteensmom
    twinteensmom Posts: 371 Member
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    I think that the most ironic thing is that, when I am working out at the gym(I go to a Planet Fitness close to work) his show is usually playing on one of the televisions. So here is a bunch of people working out on various treadmills,elypticals and the like, watching a snake charmer try to tell you that some herb is a "miracle in a bottle" and that is all they need to lose weight. I never even bother to listen. Thank God for ear plugs!
  • rjmudlax13
    rjmudlax13 Posts: 900 Member
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    If he was forced to tell the truth, his show would be 1 episode long.

    First segment: Explain to people to eat less. Use a scale. Estimate their BMR and TDEE.

    Second segment: Explain to people to move more. Lift some weights. Do a little cardio.

    Last segment: Explain macros, fiber, micros and phytos

    End show.
  • martinel2099
    martinel2099 Posts: 899 Member
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    If he was forced to tell the truth, his show would be 1 episode long.

    First segment: Explain to people to eat less. Use a scale. Estimate their BMR and TDEE.

    Second segment: Explain to people to move more. Lift some weights. Do a little cardio.

    Last segment: Explain macros, fiber, micros and phytos

    End show.

    I'd love to see a dieting "Myth Busters" type show that debunks fat loss myths and analyzes these different products that come out and why they are not effective. I'd watch that.
  • brower47
    brower47 Posts: 16,356 Member
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    Chickens, your roost is waiting.

    I wish but 95% of his regular watchers will never even know that this exchange took place. His show will continue business as usual. But it's nice to see someone directly taking him to task for his complete lack of ethics.
  • WalkingAlong
    WalkingAlong Posts: 4,926 Member
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    Good for her (the senator). Now I wish she'd call out Jillian on her fat burner pills and her lack of formal fitness education. I guess everyone on TV is an actor playing the role they were hired to play, though, even when they use their own name.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 48,691 Member
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    Wow, someone in congress actually called him out? I'm actually shocked, but glad.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition
  • StaciMarie1974
    StaciMarie1974 Posts: 4,138 Member
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    If celebrity 'weight loss experts' endorsed eating less & moving more, instead of miracle cures/crutches - perhaps people would take the eat less/move more approach seriously.
  • FireOpalCO
    FireOpalCO Posts: 641 Member
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    If he was forced to tell the truth, his show would be 1 episode long.

    First segment: Explain to people to eat less. Use a scale. Estimate their BMR and TDEE.

    Second segment: Explain to people to move more. Lift some weights. Do a little cardio.

    Last segment: Explain macros, fiber, micros and phytos

    End show.

    That's a show I would actually watch. If each show was meeting with real people who were losing weight and showing a realistic time frame (not a week or more of workouts compressed into an hour and a year's worth of weightloss compressed into a season). If it was "well we last checked in with Michelle & David two weeks ago, on today's episode let's see how they are doing" and they spend the hour talking about their real lives and where they did well and poorly. Not the reality TV "follow around with cameras and over act" but just in studio. Talk about the friend's wedding coming up and how the food choices make her nervous, do body measurements on the air (not just weight), show a new exercise routine or how they can change a favorite recipe to be healthier. Show real people with real conditions (and real injuries and how to recover). Rotating through different aspects of weight loss in detail and many different people at different points in the journey would probably have a lot of people tuning in and realizing they AREN'T alone or somehow broken because it took a month to lose 4 pounds.
  • likitisplit
    likitisplit Posts: 9,420 Member
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    If he was forced to tell the truth, his show would be 1 episode long.

    First segment: Explain to people to eat less. Use a scale. Estimate their BMR and TDEE.

    Second segment: Explain to people to move more. Lift some weights. Do a little cardio.

    Last segment: Explain macros, fiber, micros and phytos

    End show.

    No,no. he could go on FOREVER by having crazy people explain their miracle pill or approach and then debunking it.
  • likitisplit
    likitisplit Posts: 9,420 Member
    Options
    If he was forced to tell the truth, his show would be 1 episode long.

    First segment: Explain to people to eat less. Use a scale. Estimate their BMR and TDEE.

    Second segment: Explain to people to move more. Lift some weights. Do a little cardio.

    Last segment: Explain macros, fiber, micros and phytos

    End show.

    That's a show I would actually watch. If each show was meeting with real people who were losing weight and showing a realistic time frame (not a week or more of workouts compressed into an hour and a year's worth of weightloss compressed into a season). If it was "well we last checked in with Michelle & David two weeks ago, on today's episode let's see how they are doing" and they spend the hour talking about their real lives and where they did well and poorly. Not the reality TV "follow around with cameras and over act" but just in studio. Talk about the friend's wedding coming up and how the food choices make her nervous, do body measurements on the air (not just weight), show a new exercise routine or how they can change a favorite recipe to be healthier. Show real people with real conditions (and real injuries and how to recover). Rotating through different aspects of weight loss in detail and many different people at different points in the journey would probably have a lot of people tuning in and realizing they AREN'T alone or somehow broken because it took a month to lose 4 pounds.

    Ooh. I like that one too.
  • Katla49
    Katla49 Posts: 10,385 Member
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    That's a show I would actually watch. If each show was meeting with real people who were losing weight and showing a realistic time frame (not a week or more of workouts compressed into an hour and a year's worth of weightloss compressed into a season). If it was "well we last checked in with Michelle & David two weeks ago, on today's episode let's see how they are doing" and they spend the hour talking about their real lives and where they did well and poorly. Not the reality TV "follow around with cameras and over act" but just in studio. Talk about the friend's wedding coming up and how the food choices make her nervous, do body measurements on the air (not just weight), show a new exercise routine or how they can change a favorite recipe to be healthier. Show real people with real conditions (and real injuries and how to recover). Rotating through different aspects of weight loss in detail and many different people at different points in the journey would probably have a lot of people tuning in and realizing they AREN'T alone or somehow broken because it took a month to lose 4 pounds.

    This is a great idea for a health show. Dr. Oz is interested in his profits, not viewer health.
  • MomTo3Lovez
    MomTo3Lovez Posts: 800 Member
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    I have to admit I used to watch his show lol BUT I never went out and wasted my money on any of that crap he would promote because to me it didn't seem like I would get the results plus I knew that I would put the weight right back on once I was done. So glad someone is finally calling him out on it.
  • BinaryPulsar
    BinaryPulsar Posts: 8,927 Member
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    This is great. I'm going to share it on FB also. Thanks for sharing.
  • coolraul07
    coolraul07 Posts: 1,606 Member
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    Misleading topic is misleading. I was expecting "grilled ham".

    exps830_TH1602C29B.jpg
  • happysquidmuffin
    happysquidmuffin Posts: 651 Member
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    Whoever wrote the article needs to be fired... or have their editor fired... Anyways, that was enlightening! Glad he was knocked down a notch or two. And...

    "That's a show I would actually watch. If each show was meeting with real people who were losing weight and showing a realistic time frame (not a week or more of workouts compressed into an hour and a year's worth of weightloss compressed into a season). If it was "well we last checked in with Michelle & David two weeks ago, on today's episode let's see how they are doing" and they spend the hour talking about their real lives and where they did well and poorly. Not the reality TV "follow around with cameras and over act" but just in studio. Talk about the friend's wedding coming up and how the food choices make her nervous, do body measurements on the air (not just weight), show a new exercise routine or how they can change a favorite recipe to be healthier. Show real people with real conditions (and real injuries and how to recover). Rotating through different aspects of weight loss in detail and many different people at different points in the journey would probably have a lot of people tuning in and realizing they AREN'T alone or somehow broken because it took a month to lose 4 pounds."

    I would TOTALLY watch that show also!